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In The Footsteps Of My Father


This is an image post I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of months now, and Father’s Day is the perfect reason to finally get it done! This past April, my dad and I took Ed on his first family overnight trip into Haleakala Crater, which has been a family tradition since before I was born. Even though my dad retired from the National Park Service in 2009, he still spends a lot of his time up on Haleakala leading volunteer service trips, and this was the first one I had been able to make in a few years.

My dad’s a pretty awesome guy, and my brother and I have been super lucky to have him as our father. He’s always been a truly hard worker, and I surely would not be where I am today without his support. I inherited my adventurousness from him, as well as a love for nature and landscape photography, so I’m always happy to spend this kind of time with him.  Sometimes I get a little scolded for not keeping up while hiking, but this time I intentionally was hanging back to photograph my dad walking through the amazing mountain where he’s spent most of his life working to preserve and protect the land.

Please Note: We are off-trail for some of these images, but that is because we were doing an official volunteer weed-pulling service trip, and needed to check specific locations for the weed we were targeting. Never walk off-trail in Haleakala National Park unless you have explicit permission to do so – it can be extremely damaging to the environment.

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So, This One Time We Hiked To Lava…


Lava Kiss Print Available Here!

Wow. I’ve officially gone somewhat viral.

It all started with Alan Taylor of The Atlantic’s In Focus choosing my Lava Kiss photo out of the National Geographic Traveler photography contest to be the first image in the post about the competition. From there, PetaPixel picked it up, then Gizmodo, and from there it went on to the Huffington Post, Glamour, and even My Modern Metropolitan’s Facebook Page as the cover image.

The response to the photo has been overwhelmingly positive, though there have been the obligatory few dissenters. Most often that I’ve seen is that people believe it’s a Photoshopped image, despite having posted a Lightroom screenshot to Google+ back when the image was first posted and people accused me of compositing. So, here are some more images from that night, both taken with a point-and-shoot and my 5D Mark II, to give everyone a better idea of what was going on. Click each photo to see it bigger!

I’d like to note that we did not go alone, but with an authorized guide from Kalapana Cultural Tours. These guys watch the flows every day, and make the tour very safe, so I highly recommend their service! It is very dangerous to go out looking for lava if you are unfamiliar with the environment, plus it’s illegal as much of the flows cover what is still technically private property. Check out their blog here for nearly daily updates of their lava hikes, with photos!

We started out where the road ended, cut off by an older flow years before. It was about an 8-mile round-trip hike over some amazing pāhoehoe lava landscape, and the late-afternoon light was glorious.

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Battle of Midway 70th Anniversary


Please Note: This blog contains a very small selection of my Midway Atoll photos! To see the full gallery with captions, please go here.

Hello all!

My apologies for being behind on blogging – I’m in the midst of moving both my residence and my blog while continually working. I didn’t get around to blogging about it here, but I did have the opportunity to tour the USNS Mercy on its way into Pearl Harbor before it departs to the South Pacific for its Pacific Partnership 2012 mission – you can check out those photos on my Facebook Page.

It’s a summer of change, as my husband just had his last official day in the U.S. Army a couple of days ago, so between fashion shoots, weddings, portrait sessions, and military adventures, we’ve been swamped with moving that had some complications, which has resulted in us needing to find a temporary rental for June before we move to our new permanent apartment in July. Thus, when I was first invited to attend the Battle of Midway’s 70th Anniversary ceremony on the isolated Midway Atoll (specifically Sand Island), I hesitated. As a daughter of conservation enthusiasts with a background in working with the Endangered Species Management at Haleakala National Park in my youth, I had always been curious about this distant Northwestern Hawaiian Island, but the stress of dealing with moving and having to shoot a wedding the day before the ceremony made the choice to go seem daunting.

“If you don’t go, you’re going to be very mad at yourself later,” said my husband, who knows me all too well.  He assured me that he’d rally our friends to help with finishing the move if I went, and so I did.

The adventure started around midnight of June 4th at Hickam, and we left around 2:00am HST. Midway is actually an hour behind Hawaii in the time zone, and we arrived when it was still dark to avoid hitting birds while landing. The flight took about two hours and 24 minutes.

After landing, we took golf carts driven by the island’s Thai workers to the clinic, which was acting as the media center and miraculously had WiFi internet. A couple of Fish & Wildlife volunteers offered to take people out to photograph the sunrise, and of course I jumped at the chance. My escort and I drove out on the golf cart, dodging all the sleepy chicks in the road, going out to the harbor where I photographed the old sea plane hangar in front of the setting moon, and the sunrise from a pier. There was also a Laysan albatross chick right in front of the pier which ended up getting backlit portraits taken of him or her. It was incredible to think that 70 years prior, these skies were filled with battling planes.

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